Opioid use disorder is a medical condition that does not discriminate against individuals in any social class, income level, race, or gender. No matter how the individual gets to the point of addiction, it is important to remember that opioid recovery is possible.
Millions of Americans are suffering from opioid use disorder. The good news is that there are several different forms of treatment available. Each opioid recovery program and approach varies in form, setting, and length of time. The goal is to treat each patient’s individual needs and help them return to a life of normalcy.
So, without further ado, let’s learn everything there is to know about opioid recovery!
What Are Opioids?
Opioids—also known as opiates or narcotics—are a specific class of drugs that are made from the substances found in an opium poppy plant. Some narcotics are made of certain synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of natural opiates.
These drugs affect the opioid receptors in your brain, with the most common effect being pain relief. Besides this, they may also lead to euphoria, also known as a “high.”
While some of these opioids may be prescribed by a healthcare professional to treat acute or chronic pain, other types are illegal. Some common narcotic painkillers that you may have heard of include heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and fentanyl. Unfortunately, due to their pain-relieving nature, opioid drugs also carry a high risk of addiction, or opioid use disorder (OUD).
Why Are Opioids Addictive?
All opioids have the potential to cause a heightened sense of well-being in the individual taking them, whether they are prescribed or illegal.
Not all individuals will experience this euphoric feeling. Still, those that do are at an increased risk of addiction because they are more likely to use the opioid repeatedly to replicate this feeling. This activates the reward centers in their brain, releasing endorphins and reducing their perception of pain.
Frequent and repetitive opiate use often results in physical dependence. This occurs because an individual’s body adapts to a substance and begins to tolerate it, which means that the same dose may have less of an effect on them after some time.
Becoming physically dependent on an opioid makes it even more challenging for a person to stop using the drug. This is because they will likely experience the negative and uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. Some of these may include:
- Muscle aches
- Cold and flu symptoms
- Abdominal issues
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
Recovering from Opioid Addiction
Similar to the majority of medical diagnoses, opioid addiction is treatable. There are several research-based approaches to opioid recovery, including medications, behavioral therapy, or a combination of the two.
The goals of most opioid recovery programs are the same—help the affected individual avoid cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and help them return to a life of normalcy. These changes could take various amounts of time, depending on the patient’s condition and the type of treatment they choose to undergo.
A strong social network and support system can be essential to maintaining opioid recovery and making a significant lifestyle change.
Opioid Addiction — Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Buprenorphine is a medication that is commonly used as an aid in the recovery from opioid use disorder. While it still leads to euphoria—just like other opioids do—the effects of buprenorphine are much weaker than those of full opioid agonists like heroin or morphine. For this reason, it’s known as a partial agonist.
When taken as prescribed, this drug is safe and typically represents an effective way to avoid or prevent withdrawal symptoms. Any certified physician or healthcare professional that has completed mandatory training can prescribe it, and it’s available in various forms, including:
- Sublingual tablets, or the tablets you place under the tongue to dissolve them
- Sublingual films, or the films you place under the tongue to dissolve them
- Buccal films, or the films that need to be placed between the gums and the inner tissue of the cheek to be dissolved
Methadone is another opioid recovery drug that is frequently prescribed to individuals recovering from opioid use disorder. This substance is a long-acting full opioid agonist that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Although it is usually only prescribed to treat opioid use disorder, methadone is also occasionally prescribed to treat severe pain. It is important that this drug is taken exactly as instructed by your healthcare professional.
This medication is usually a part of medication-assisted treatment accompanied by counseling and other behavioral health treatments. This approach can help people return to meaningful lives and sustain recovery.
When taken as instructed, methadone works to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms by blocking the effects of opioids. It is available in several different forms, including:
- Injectable liquid
- Oral solution
ANR Opioid Addiction Recovery
The staff here at the ANR clinic is ready to help you overcome your opioid addiction in just one short visit to one of our opioid recovery centers worldwide.
During your stay at the ANR clinic, which usually lasts around 36 hours, you will be sedated for about 4–6 hours. You’ll also be monitored by an anesthesiologist while a physician modulates and regulates the opioid receptors in your brain. This is called Accelerated Neuro-Regulation (ANR), and its goal is to return your brain to its pre-addiction state.
Dr. Waismann has used Accelerated Neuro-Regulation to help more than 24,000 patients around the world, and they can help you too!
Accelerated Neuro-Regulation doesn’t just treat the symptoms of opioid cravings and withdrawal. It also treats the biological root of the problem with modern medicine, unlike any other approach to treating opioid use disorder.
This is a safe and effective treatment for opioid dependency that is completely customized to you and your biology. While ANR might be one of many treatment options when it comes to OUD, it truly is one of a kind.
We’ve learned that some people have been prescribed opioids for moderate to severe pain while others take them illegally. Unfortunately, both situations can result in opioid addiction and dependency.
However, the good news is that there’s always hope for opioid recovery—no matter how a person becomes addicted. In this article, we explained what an addict needs to start their recovery journey, so let’s sum it up in a few points to remember the most important parts:
- Opioids may be obtained either illegally or by prescription from a licensed medical professional.
- ANR treatment can effectively reduce your chance of relapsing while you’re on your journey to recovery.
- The physicians at the ANR Clinic are ready to work with you and your support system to help you successfully overcome your opioid use disorder.